Literary influences explored...
Reuben Hollebon

Reuben Hollebon was never encouraged to be creative.

Growing up in a small town in Norfolk, he preferred to keep his head down, working odd jobs and staying out of trouble.

But there was something he couldn't quite express, and it took music to do that. Studying at his local college, a series of chance encounters took the aspiring musician to London.

Working in a professional study, he was granted the time and space to focus on his own voice. New album 'Terminal Nostalgia' is the result - an intriguing work, one dominated by a desire towards expression.

Out now, 'Terminal Nostalgia' is set to be followed by an array of gigs, with Reuben Hollebon finally stepping out into the light.

Clash invited Reuben to sketch out a few of his literary influences...

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What is your favourite book and why?
George’s Marvellous Medicine by Roald Dahl, a very funny and dark read like most of his books. Every child should be told that mischievousness is a good thing to learn, it was actively encouraged by more than one of my early teachers.

What other authors do you like?

Kurt Vonnegut, Zadie Smith, George Orwell, John Steinbeck, Cormac McCarthy, Terry Pratchett, Charles Dickens.

What draws you to certain books?

Themes mainly, as well as the people behind them. In addition the pace and intent of words. The Autobiography Of A Super-Tramp by W. H. Davies should be known as classic, it features his journey over to North America to become a man of the road. In the current world it can feel quite tough to find an interesting and actual adventure and this feels like a thoroughly direct telling of one from not much more than 100 years ago.

Do your literary influences have a direct impact on your songwriting?

Always, English language has a large basis in rhythm, a lot of shapes and combinations, the small choices of words always affect songwriting. Reading other literature has a lot of guidance on cadence, as well as what forms interesting content.

What are you reading at the moment?

On The Road by Jack Kerouac, Fortress of Solitude by Jonathan Lethe, Bleak House by Charles Dickens and the poems of Robbie Burns.

What is the first book you remember reading as a child?

Mr Tickle, a Mr Men book.

Did you make good use of your library card as a child / teenager?

The house was full of books, my dad would pick up more from the thrift stores than he could have ever read. I still have most at the 50p price tags remain, a lot of politics, novels and theology.

Have you ever found a book that you simply couldn’t finish?

I struggled a lot with Salman Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses, at times the writing is exceptional but the content goes from clever and majestic to obtuse and petulant, and so it throws you off. His Midnight's Children however is incredible throughout.

Do you read book reviews?

Not that I recall.

Would you ever re-read the same book?

I tend to re-read Cormac McCarthy a lot, such much poetry and a real efficiency of language can be helpful to any artist, particularly Blood Meridian and The Road.

Have you ever identified with a character in a book? Which one and why?

Billy Pilgrim coming unstuck in time during Slaughterhouse 5, his inability to take part in violence, the observance of the moon-like state after the Dresden bombings all culminating in the presumption that anyone that chooses to fight in a war for reasons other than direct defence can only be, and remain a child.

Is there an author / poet you would like to collaborate with?
Opportunity to work alongside Simon Armitage, Zadie Smith or Benjamin Zephaniah would be intriguing. Along with Ben Wheatley, though he is obviously more renowned for his directing.

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'Terminal Nostalgia' is out now.

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